The American Fisheries Society is the world's leading association of fisheries professionals, and it has established certification criteria. Search the Internet and ask your schools, agencies, and peers— the American Fisheries Society (AFS) continuously shows up as THE place to earn a professional certification in the world of fisheries. With an AFS Fisheries Professional Certification, your work as a fisheries professional will put you in a category distinct from other fisheries professionals due to the world renowned reputation and the high standards of the certification process we offer. We know the benefits employers receive when they hire one of our own, but do you know the benefits you will receive? Try these: An AFS Fisheries Professional Certification will give you a leg up in getting the best jobs: • When developing the certification, we cast a wide net on what we felt a fisheries professional should know, so holding a certification quickly establishes a fisheries professional as credible in a wide range of settings, giving them a greater range of career opportunities. • In a highly competitive job marketplace, this dedication sets you apart from others and demonstrates that you have a passion for fisheries as a profession, not just a job. • Many jobs require certification for hiring and promotion, and the AFS Fisheries Professional Certification is the one most recognized. • It represents achievement of a career goal and a credential necessary for job performance. An AFS Fisheries Professional Certification can help you earn more money: • Many state and federal agencies as well as the private sector provide salary incentives for certified fisheries professionals. • Certification can help you get a promotion. • Certification gives you a competitive edge when applying for grants and awards that are based on professional qualifications because you will have earned an extra measure of professionalism. • Certification is a benefit when testifying or serving as an expert witness. • Certification is designed to encourage career-long enhancement of knowledge and skills, so it demonstrates continuing professional development and career advancement to employers as it requires certification renewal at five-year intervals. • Professional certification serves as a mark of accomplishment, as a board of certified fisheries professionals will have objectively reviewed your qualifications. • Certification is practiced across a broad range of professions; certification programs provide standards and guidelines for professional recognition. Becoming a Certified Fisheries Professional will provide personal satisfaction: • Certification provides a measure of status and credibility among your peers and within your Society. • Certification fosters broader recognition of fisheries professionals as well-educated and experienced, acting in the best interest of the public. • Certification provides governmental and nongovernmental agencies and organizations, private firms, courts, and the general public with a definitive minimum standard of experience and education for fisheries professionals. Just some of the universities and colleges that recognize American Fisheries Society Professional Certification: • California Polytechnic State University • Clemson University • Eastern New Mexico University • Emporia State University • Frostburg State University • Michigan State University • Ohio State University • Pennsylvania State • Portland State • Purdue University • Texas A&M University • Texas Tech University • University of Amherst–Massachusetts • University of Georgia • University of Maine • University of Maryland • University of Minnesota • University of Nebraska–Lincoln • University of Northern British Columbia • University of Wyoming • West Virginia University Just some of the agencies, societies, businesses, etc., that recognize American Fisheries Society Professional Certification: • Environmental Careers • Florida Fish & Wildlife Commission • Mt. Parnell Fisheries, Inc. • National Military Fish and Wildlife Association • Ross Taylor and Associates–Fisheries Consulting • Soil and Water Conservation Society • U.S. Department of Agriculture & Natural Resources Conservation Service Thanks to AFS Member Dirk Miller for much of the information listed above. Find the fisheries experts in your area! Members can now search for fisheries professionals by certification type or state/province by simply logging on to fisheries.org, signing in, and clicking the "Members Only- Member Directory" link and "certified professionals." Show your pride in Portland! Honorary ribbons for certified fisheries professionals will be made available at the Annual Meeting.